Boasting a roster of past members of hardcore luminaries Hatebreed and Most Precious Blood, Deathkiller belies expectations by bucking the traditional mold of hardcore on New England Is Sinking. Featuring crisp, tight musicianship on highly melodic, uptempo thrash metal with elements of hardcore, Deathkiller delivers thought provoking songs that don’t beat the agenda to death, encouraging listeners to read between the lines and think for themselves. Heavily political lyrics are tempered with ripping, winding, circular grooves. “Dead Art” is a scathing accusation of the media’s elevation of consumer culture and meaningless drivel posing as art and entertainment. “Take Me To Your Bleeder” and “Call in the Airstrike” are unabashed critiques of the Bush administration, the latter admonishing the regime’s stance on the war, throwing down the gauntlet with lines like “How can you say ‘Get behind them’ / And leave them there to rot?”. Singer/guitarist Matt McIntosh grits out rough, yet soaring vocal work on “Idle Worship”. While heavy, there is still an air of familiarity and a punk edge to Deathkiller’s style. “Let the Good Times Fold” sounds familiar, musically like Joan Jett’s “Black Leather”, just one of the instances where the threesome breathes some new life into a stagnant genre, blending and embellishing the punishing sound of hardcore with a stripped-down melody and outspoken stance on the politics of punk.
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// Notes from the Road
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